Asking For Help, Even When You’re Fiercely Independent

I know how completely difficult it can be to ask people for help.  The narrative in my head is something like “I’m the type of independent, strong woman who doesn’t need to be the damsel in distress”.  Except that isn’t what it is about at all.  There aren’t enough hours in the day and you can’t possibly be an expert in everything so sooner or later you are going to need to have another human help you.  This blog is sort of an intervention if you are fiercely independent like me.

Help Yourself

  1. Get comfortable with the idea of help. It isn’t a sign of weakness, I promise.  One of the biggest things that I had to come to terms with is that other people do things differently than I do.  This makes me sound like a total control freak but I felt like I could do things better or faster so I would do them myself.  As I’ve relinquished control, I’ve realized that people do things differently and that is okay.  As long as the objectives are met, that path to get there isn’t a huge deal.
  2. Find the right person.  Don’t just ask someone that you are comfortable with or someone who is in the vicinity.  Make sure that you ask the person who has the skills or capacity to do whatever you need.
  3. Be clear on expectations.  Remember, the path doesn’t matter as much as the end result.  So be clear to describe in detail what the desired outcome is.
  4. Thank them.  I hope this is completely obvious but make sure that you convey your appreciation.  The bigger then ask, the bigger the thank you.  If someone does a quick favor for me, a written thank you will suffice.  If someone does a bigger favor, I sometimes will give them a token of appreciation (gift certificate, bottle of wine, etc).
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